The idea of using an actor or actress that’s no longer with us in a movie is a very sticky ethical question, and usually depends upon the nature of the project. For example, Carrie Fisher was integral to the plot of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, and there was enough footage left over from her previous two efforts to make it work, but bringing Peter Cushing’s Moff Tarkin back to life in Rogue One 22 years after he died was definitely unnecessary and more than a little unsettling.
Of course, this is hardly a new phenomenon after CGI and camera tricks were used to complete Oliver Reed’s performance in Gladiator and Laurence Olivier bizarrely played the villain in 2004’s Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow despite passing away in 1989, but advances in visual effects technology mean that the lines could soon become impossibly blurred. In fact, next year’s Finding Jack stars James Dean in the lead role despite the iconic actor having been dead since 1955, and some people are very much against the project for that reason.
However, based on his monumental contribution to modern blockbuster cinema, a lot of fans would be upset if Chadwick Boseman didn’t appear in the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Black Panther 2 in some form. Outtakes or deleted scenes from the first installment could mark a fitting tribute, but there’ve also been rumors of the dreaded digital double.
Of course, Marvel shot down that very idea earlier this week, but now insider Grace Randolph, who first broke the news of the studio possibly heading in such a direction, has clarified her scoop. Taking to Twitter, here’s what she shared:
Also to clarify on #BlackPanther, people made assumption my tweet meant full scenes w/ digital Boseman like Rogue One’s Grand Moff Tarkin.
I believe that’s what Alonso was addressing.
I specifically said battle scene & at least one shot w/ no mask.
We’ll see – in 2 years. https://t.co/a9Sb7sUDK9
— Grace Randolph (@GraceRandolph) November 14, 2020
So, it seems that Black Panther 2 won’t be using a digital double to bring back Boseman for the entire film or even for multiple scenes, which it seems is what some people thought. Instead, it’ll just be a for a battle sequence and, as Randolph notes, at least one shot with no mask. Of course, this all remains unconfirmed for now until the studio issues an official statement on their exact plans, but whatever they decide to do, let’s hope it’s done tastefully.